1. These are appeals on behalf of the plaintiff in actions for enhancement of rent of occupancy raiyats under Section 30 Clause (b) of the Bengal Tenancy Act, on the ground that there has been a rise in the average local prices of staple food crops daring the currency of the present rent. The learned District Judge has calculated the enhanced rent on the basis of a comparison between the average prices during the decennial period 1897 to 1906 with those during the decennial period 1888 to 1897. On behalf of the appellant it is argued that this mode of calculation is based upon an erroneous view of the scope and effect of Clause (a) of Section 32 of the Act. That clause provides that where enhancement is claimed on account of a rise in prices, the Court shall compare the average prices during the decennial period immediately preceding the institution of the suit with the average prices during such other decennial period as it may appear equitable and practicable to take for comparison. The learned Vakil for the appellant contends that the two decennial periods mentioned ought to be entirely distinct and should not even partially overlap each other. In our opinion this contention is well-founded. No doubt, the language used in Clause (a) of Section 32, taken by itself, may lend some apparent support to the contrary view taken by the District Judge that there is nothing to show that the two decennial periods may not partially coincide. From an examination of the other provisions of Section 32, it is, however, fairly clear that this, was not the intention of the legislature. Clause (6) provides that the enhanced rent shall bear to the previous rent the same proportion as the average prices during the last decennial period bear to the average prices during the previous decennial period taken for purpose of comparison, provided that, in calculating this proportion, the average prices during the later period shall be reduced by one-third of their excess over the average prices during the earlier period. This provision makes it reasonably plain that the two decennial periods are intended to be entirely distinct. In fact, if the contrary view were maintained the comparison might become valueless as a basis of calculation, because, if it were permissible to allow the two decennial periods to overlap to the extent of one year, they might be made to overlap to the extent of nine years, in which event the object which the legislature had in view would clearly be defeated. In the present case, the suit was commenced in 1907; the decennial period immediately preceding the suit, therefore, covers the period 1897 to 1906, and the previous decennial period is from 1887 to 1896. But the learned District Judge appears to have compared the prices during the decennial period 1897 to 1906 with those during the period 1888 to 1897, on the ground, that the tenancy was created in 1897. In the view we take of the true scope of Section 32, this was not permissible. The result, therefore, is that these appeals must be allowed, the judgments and decrees of the District Judge set aside, and the cases remanded to him in order that the enhancement to be allowed may be calculated on the basis of a comparison of the average prices during two distinct decennial periods as explained above.
2. The appellant is entitled to his costs of this Court in both the appeals.